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Chechen wood: working qualities ?

March 10, 2019

I bought some turning blanks in Chechen wood and mahogany. They have a square profile. I will need to cut to length, round the edges and ends, then drill through the pieces to run a wire rod through. I am not trying to make them into full rounds; something like an octagonal profile will work.

I want to make handles for a couple of teapots I am making from pottery (I take pottery classes for fun during the winter). I don’t make teapot handles from clay because a clay handle does not last 5 minutes in my house. I know you can buy ready made teapot handles, but after an extensive search, all I can find are bamboo or rattan. Those are too traditional to go with these very modern tea pots.

So, think pail bail, but with a handle made of nice dark wood that will match the dark brown clay I am using.

Like these: not my work, but the only picture I could find:


Not as chunky though.

I will need to do the filing/roughing by hand. Then I can sand with a rotary / belt sander and drill with a drill press.

I am asking about the working qualities/hardness because of all the hand work needed. Thanks!

Comments (4)

  • toxcrusadr

    There are several woods with similar names - chechen is aka chechem, and there is a chenchen.

    Here is the best wood info guide I have found, thanks to another poster on this forum:


    Scroll down to the alphabet and click C.

    If it is chechem, here is that page:


    Click on the 'partial fact sheet' button to get a guide with its working properties.

    Post a pic if you can. Very unusual wood I have not heard of before - but there are hundreds.

    linnea56 thanked toxcrusadr
  • linnea56

    Those are REALLY outstanding pictures! Thank you! When I was looking it up yesterday, I saw it under several names. Chechen was how the shop I bought it from named it. I had not heard of it before either. I wanted a dark wood as the pottery will fire to very dark brown (I am planning to glaze only the inside). I had walnut in mind when I went in but they didn't have any. I'm sure this will be more interesting: as long as I can work it.

    What I bought were 1" turning blanks. They are pretty roughly sawn but I still could see the noticeable darker and lighter streaks. I chose ones with straight grain; some had bends and waves but they were inconsistent in each 1 foot length, so I opted for well marked straight grain. It looks just like the wood on the Chechem page.

  • toxcrusadr

    I hope we can see a pic of the finished product!

  • linnea56

    Sure: if I get it done! Making the handle is one more complication. But nice looking, NON traditional handles are impossible to find.

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